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Genderization and Links with Illegal Armed Groups in Colombia


Onofre, Darío Reynaldo Muñoz. 2014. "Genderization and Links with Illegal Armed Groups in Colombia." In Psychosocial Approaches to Peace-Building in Colombia, edited by Stella Sacipa-Rodriguez and Maritza Montero, 121-36. Cham: Springer International Publishing.

Author: Darîo Reynaldo Muñoz


This chapter presents qualitative research results on the relationship between gender socialization (genderization) and the joining of illegal armed groups in Colombia, through narratives of 21 male and 13 female ex-combatant guerrillas and paramilitaries, obtained through focus groups, in-depth interviews, and field diaries. The analytical perspective includes: constructionist social psychology, the theory of gender performativity and perspectives from technologies of the self. The results show how certain gender patterns normalized during infancy socialization have a bearing on the future possibility of joining armed groups. They also show how participation in these groups strengthens belligerent subjectivities. The conclusions suggest psychosocial keys for disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration processes, from an ethical–political perspective which combines gender and cultures of peace.

Keywords: gender patterns, gender socialization, guerrillas, para-military troops, demobilization, disarmament, reintegration, children, ethical-political perspective

Topics: Combatants, DDR, Gender, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Paramilitaries, Non-state Armed Groups, Peacebuilding Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2014

“Femininity” and “Memory” in Disarmament, Demobilisation, and Reintegration Programmes in Colombia


Gindele, Rebecca, and Gustavo Rojas Páez. 2016. “’Femininity’ and ‘Memory’ in Disarmament, Demobilisation, and Reintegration Programmes in Colombia.” In Retos y Perspectivas de la Política Criminal, edited by Marcela Gutiérrez Quevedo and Ana Lucía Moncayo Albornoz, 211-36. Bogotá: Universidad Externado de Colombia.

Authors: Rebecca Gindele, Gustavo Rojas Páez


This article seeks to show the ways in which DDR programmes have an impact on the construction of the memory of female ex-combatants of guerrilla groups in Colombia. The article revolves around the following question: To what extent, the discourse on reintegration and participation surrounding the official frameworks of memory are adequate to the task of making visible the voices of female ex-combatants who participated in guerrilla organizations? In addressing this question, the article highlights two influential aspects in the construction of memory of women who were part of Colombia’s armed conflict as guerrilla fighters. On the one hand, women want to remember their experiences as combatants, and, on the other hand, in the phase of “reintegration” to civil life, women are confronted with expectations on femininity, which traverse their identity. The article suggests that it is important to broaden the analytical frameworks that define the role of the formation of memory of ex-combatants and take into account, the processes of agency advanced by former female fighters and their role as political subjects. 
Este escrito busca destacar cómo los procesos de Desarme, Desmovilización, y Reintegración (DDR) tienen un impacto en la construcción de la memoria de las mujeres excombatientes en Colombia. El escrito da cuenta de dos aspectos que influyen la construcción de la memoria de mujeres que participaron en el conflicto armado con grupos guerrilleros en distintos contextos. En primer lugar, las mujeres desean recordar y contar sus vivencias como combatientes. De lo anterior surge la pregunta ¿hasta qué punto el discurso de la reintegración y la participación en la paz permiten visibilizar las voces de estas mujeres dentro de los marcos oficiales de la memoria del conflicto? En segundo lugar, nuestra indagación explora las formas como las excombatientes afrontan las transformaciones de identidad y las construcciones de feminidades, dentro de los grupos armados y en la reintegración, cuando la sociedad exige los criterios establecidos de feminidad. El capítulo sugiere que es importante ampliar los marcos analíticos sobre la memoria de las mujeres excombatientes y dar cuenta de distintos procesos de agencia desarrollados por ellas como sujetos políticos. 


Keywords: identity, femininity, memory, gender, DDR, transitional justice, identidad, feminidad, memoria, justicia transicional, gênero

Topics: Combatants, Female Combatants, DDR, Gender, Women, Femininity/ies, Military Forces & Armed Groups Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2016

Leaving War and the Closet? Exploring the Varied Experiences of LGBT Ex-Combatants in Colombia


Thylin, Theresia. 2018. “Leaving War and the Closet? Exploring the Varied Experiences of LGBT Ex-Combatants in Colombia.” Kvinder, Køn & Forskning 27 (2-3): 97-109.

Author: Theresia Thylin


Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) programmes have been acknowledged as a crucial part of peacebuilding initiatives and the importance of ensuring that they are gender responsive has been increasingly recognized by the international community. However, policy guidance has failed to include ex-combatants who do not conform to a narrow, binary understanding of gender and make no reference to sexual and gender minorities. Similarly, LGBT excombatants have been overlooked by scholars and very little is known of their experiences as they transition to civilian life. This article explores the varied experiences of LGBT ex-combatants who have been part of three different armed groups in Colombia. Using semi-structured interviews with ex-combatants from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the 19th of April Movement (M-19) and the United Self-Defenders of Colombia (AUC), this article shows how DDR processes may generate significant and rapid transformations for sexual and gender minorities. The article also outlines particular challenges faced by LGBT ex-combatants. In conclusion, I argue that policy makers and researchers should incorporate a gender perspective in DDR that moves beyond a narrow, binary understanding of gender in order to respond to the needs, ensure the participation, and protect the rights of LGBT ex-combatants.

Keywords: LGBT, ex-combatants, Colombia, DDR, reintegration

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, DDR, Gender, LGBTQ, Peacebuilding Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2018

Legacies of Violence and the Unfinished Past: Women in Post-Demobilization Colombia and Guatemala


Tarnaala, Elisa. 2019. “Legacies of Violence and the Unfinished Past: Women in Post-Demobilization Colombia and Guatemala.” Peacebuilding 7 (1): 103–17.

Author: Elisa Tarnaala


This article examines the historically grounded social acceptance of impunity and the role of unwanted actors in peace and transitional processes. The article argues from a post-demobilization violence perspective that counter-democratic developments, which have historical and global roots, condition peacebuilding and impose important limits on the deepening of inclusion. In Colombia and Guatemala, internationally backed peacebuilding activities occurred in the same regions where the local authorities continued their partnership with criminal and authoritarian actors. Thus, parallel to the shift towards greater political and economic stability at the national level, attacks against human rights activists and environmental activists, intra-community violence, violence against women, prostitution and the trafficking of girls continued at the local level and in some areas increased.

Keywords: Colombia, Guatemala, demobilization, women, violence, historical legacies

Topics: DDR, Democracy / Democratization, Gender, Women, Girls, Gender-Based Violence, Justice, Impunity, Transitional Justice, Peacebuilding, Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Violence Regions: Americas, Central America, South America Countries: Colombia, Guatemala

Year: 2019

The Oxford Handbook of Women, Peace and Security


Davies, Sara E., and Jacqui True, eds. 2019. The Oxford Handbook of Women, Peace and Security. New York: Oxford University Press.

Authors: Sara E. Davies, Jacqui True


The Oxford Handbook on Women, Peace, and Security examines the significant and evolving international Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) agenda, which scholars and practitioners have together contributed to advancing over almost two decades. Fifteen years since the passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000), the WPS agenda has never been more salient on the agenda of states and international organizations. The Global Study of 1325 (“Preventing Conflict, Securing Peace”) commissioned by the UN Secretary-General and released in September 2015, however, found that there is a major implementation gap with respect to UNSCR 1325 that accounts for the gaping absence of women’s participation in peace and transitional decision-making processes. With independent, critical, and timely analysis by scholars, advocates, and policymakers across global regions, the Oxford Handbook synthesizes new and enduring knowledge, collectively taking stock of what has been achieved and what remains incomplete and unfinished about the WPS agenda. The handbook charts the collective way forward to increase the impact of WPS research, theory, and practice.

Keywords: WPS agenda, women peace and security, UNSCR 1325, gender and security, UN Security Council, women's rights, conflict and post-conflict


Table of Contents:
Part I. Concepts of WPS
1. WPS: A Transformative Agenda?
Sara E. Davies and Jacqui True
2. Peace and Security from a Feminist Perspective
J. Ann Tickner
3. Adoption of 1325 Resolution
Christine Chinkin
4. Civil Society's Leadership in Adopting 1325 Resolution
Sanam Naraghi Anderlini
5. Scholarly Debates and Contested Meanings of WPS
Fionnuala D. Ní Aoláin and Nahla Valji
6. Advocacy and the WPS Agenda
Sarah Taylor
7. WPS as a Political Movement
Swanee Hunt and Alive Wairimu Nderitu
8. Location Masculinities in WP
Henri Myrttinen
9. WPS and Adopted Security Council Resolutions
Laura J Shepherd
10. WPS and Gender Mainstreaming
Karin Landgren
11. The Production of the 2015 Global Study
Louise Olsson and Theodora-Ismene Gizelis
Part II. Pillars of WPS
12. WPS and Conflict Prevention
Bela Kapur and Madeleine Rees
13. What Works in Participation
Thania Paffenholz
14. What Works (and Fails) in Protection
Hannah Donges and Janosch Kullenberg
15. What Works in Relief and Recovery
Jacqui True and Sarah Hewitt
16. Where the WPS Pillars Intersect
Marie O'Reilly
17. WPS and Female Peacekeepers
Natasja Rupesinghe, Eli Stamnes, and John Karlsrud
18. WPS and SEA in Peacekeeping Operations
Jamine-Kim Westendorf
19. WPS and Peacekeeping Economics
Kathleen M. Jennings
20. WPS in Military Training and Socialization
Helena Carreiras and Teresa Fragoso
21. WPS and Policing: New Terrain
Bethan Greener
22. WPS, States, and the National Action Plans
Mirsad Miki Jacevic
Part III. Institutionalizing WPS
23. WPS inside the United Nations
Megan Dersnah
24. WPS and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sexual Violence in Conflict
Eleanor O'Gorman
25. WPS and the Human Rights Council
Rashida Manjoo
26. WPS and International Financial Institutions
Jacqui True and Barbro Svedberg
27. WPS and the International Criminal Court
Jonneke Koomen
28. WPS and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Stéfanie von Hlatky
29. WPS and the African Union
Toni Haastrup
30. WPS and the Association of South East Asian Nations
Ma. Lourdes Veneracion-Rallonza
31. WPS and the Pacific Islands Forum
Sharon Bhagwan-Rolls and Sian Rolls
32. WPS and the Organization of American States
Mary K. Meyer McAleese
33. WPS and Civil Society
Annika Bjorkdahl and Johanna Mannergren Selimovic
34. WPS and Transnational Feminist Networks
Joy Onyesoh
Part IV. Implementing WPS
35. Delivering WPS Protection in All Female Peacekeeping Force: The Case of Liberia
Sabrina Karim
36. Securing Participation and Protection in Peace Agreements: The Case of Colombia
Isabela Marín Carvajal and Eduardo Álvarez-Vanegas
37. WPS and Women's Roles in Conflict-Prevention: The Case of Bougainville
Nicole George
38. Women in Rebellion: The Case of Sierra Leone
Zoe Marks
39. Protecting Displaced Women and Girls: The Case of Syria
Elizabeth Ferris
40. Donor States Delivering on WPS: The Case of Norway
Inger Skjelsbæk and Torunn L. Tryggestad
41. WPS as Diplomatic Vocation: The Case of China
Liu Tiewa
42. Women Controlling Arms, Building Peace: The Case of the Philippines
Jasmin Nario-Galace
43. Testing the WPS Agenda: The Case of Afghanistan
Claire Duncanson and Vanessa Farr
44. Mainstreaming WPS in the Armed Forced: The Case of Australia
Jennifer Wittwer
Part V. Cross-Cutting Agenda? Connections and Mainstreaming
45. WPS and Responsibility to Protect
Alex J. Bellamy and Sara E. Davies
46. WPS and Protection of Civilians
Lisa Hultman and Angela Muvumba Sellstrom
47. WPS, Children, and Armed Conflict
Katrine Lee-Koo
48. WPS, Gender, and Disabilities
Deborah Stienstra
49. WPS and Humanitarian Action
Sarah Martin and Devanna de la Puente
50. WPS, Migration, and Displacements
Lucy Hall
51. WPS and LGBTI Rights
Lisa Davis and Jessica Stern
52. WPS and CEDAW, Optional Protocol, and General Recommendations
Catherine O'Rourke with Aisling Swaine
53. Women's Roles in CVE
Sri Waiyanti Eddyono with Sara E. Davies
54. WPS and Arms Trade Treaty
Ray Acheson and Maria Butler
55. WPS and Sustainable Development Goals
Radhika Balakrishnan and Krishanti Dharmaraj
56. WPS and the Convention against Torture
Andrea Huber and Therese Rytter
57. WPS and Climate Change
Annica Kronsell
Part VI. Ongoing and Future Challenges
58. Global Study: Looking Forward
Radhika Coomaraswamy and Emily Kenney
59. Measuring WPS: A New Global Index
Jeni Klugman
60. Pursuing Gender Security
Aisling Swaine
61. The Challenge of Foreign Policy in the WPS Agenda
Valerie M. Hudson and Lauren A. Eason
62. Networked Advocacy
Yifat Susskind and Diana Duarte
63. Women's Peacemaking in South Asia
Meenakshi Gopinath and Rita Manchanda
64. WPS, Peace Negotiations, and Peace Agreements
Karin Aggestam
65. The WPS Agenda: A Postcolonial Critique
Swati Parashar
66. The WPS Agenda and Strategy for the Twenty-First Century
Chantal de Jonge Oudraat
67. The Challenges of Monitoring and Analyzing WPS for Scholars
Natalie Florea Hudson


Topics: Civil Society, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Conflict, Conflict Prevention, Displacement & Migration, Economies, Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, International Law, International Organizations, LGBTQ, Peacekeeping, Peace and Security, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, Sexual Violence, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, Weapons /Arms Regions: Africa, MENA, West Africa, Americas, South America, Asia, East Asia, Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe, Oceania Countries: Afghanistan, Australia, China, Colombia, Liberia, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Syria

Year: 2019

Gendered Political Settlements and Peacebuilding: Mapping Inclusion in Practice


Yousuf, Zahbia, and Sophia Close. 2019. "Gendered Political Settlements and Peacebuilding: Mapping Inclusion in Practice." feminists@law 9 (1).  

Authors: Zahbia Yousuf, Sophia Close


This paper looks at practice-research methods used by Conciliation Resources (CR), an international peacebuilding organisation, as part of the Political Settlements Research Project. Between 2015 and 2017, Conciliation Resources and its partners convened three learning workshops in Nepal, Colombia, and Bougainville. The workshops ‘tested’ understandings of political settlements in conflict-affected contexts, with a specific focus on gender, through participatory practice-based research. The paper explores how co-learning approaches were developed and designed between CR and its partners: including how questions of inclusion, gender and political settlements were adapted to specific contexts; the approaches and methods developed; and the challenges and potential for research to influence peacebuilding practice. It also provides a critical reflection on the processes and outcomes of co-learning between international and local partners.

Topics: Conflict, Gender, Peacebuilding Regions: Americas, South America, Asia, South Asia, Oceania Countries: Colombia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea

Year: 2019

Mujeres, Polifonías y Justicia Transicional en Colombia: Narrativas Afrocéntricas de la(s) Violencia(s) en el Conflicto Armado


Garcia, Paula Medina. 2018. "Mujeres, Polifonías y Justicia Transicional en Colombia: Narrativas Afrocéntricas de la(s) Violencia(s) en el Conflicto Armado." Investigaciones Feministas 9 (2): 309-26.

Author: Paula Medina Garcia


A través de una lectura feminista interseccional del escenario de “postconflicto”/post-acuerdo en Colombia, este trabajo analiza: i) la violencia contra las mujeres en contextos de guerra como poder exhibido e instrumental; ii) el impacto de las violencias contra las mujeres afrodescendientes en el conflicto armado –para lo cual se ha utilizado tanto la información disponible del Registro Único de Víctimas (RUV) como los relatos de las víctimas; iii) las múltiples violencias superpuestas que sufren las mujeres afrodescendientes, como parte de un continuum, entendiendo la guerra como un escenario en el que éstas se encarnan y letalizan de forma pública; y iv) la justicia transicional como arena en disputa, especialmente a raíz de la firma de los Acuerdos de Paz. Para ello, se parte de las propias narrativas de las mujeres afrodescendientes como sujetos políticos activos en el proceso de justicia transicional –verdad, reparación y garantías de no repetición–. En esta línea, se parte de una revisión de la víctima qua víctima, adoptando una mirada constructivista de esta categoría –en un intento por superar concepciones esencialistas y paternalistas de la misma–, y abogando por la resignificación de la capacidad de agencia de dichas mujeres para retejer y disputar al Estado el control sobre los procesos de justicia, verdad, reparación y memoria. 
Through a feminist and intersectional reading of the “post-conflict”/post-agreement context, this study analyses: i) the violence against women as an instrumental and displayed power in war contexts; ii) the impact of violences against afrodescendant women during the armed conflict, drawn from Official Victims’ Registries as well as from their own narratives; iii) the multiple overlapped violences that afrodescendant women suffer, as part of a continuum, understanding war as the setting where the violences are embodied and become more lethal publicly; iv) the transitional justice as contested arena, specially with the signing of the Peace Agreements. For that purpose, the work focuses in the narratives of afrodescendant women as political and active subjects in the transitional justice process, in order to provide truth, reparation and guarantees of non-repetition to victims. In this regard, it reads through the victim qua victim, assuming a constructivist approach to understand this category –as well as we try to overcome essentialist and patronizing perspectives. Finally, this research proposes the resignification of agency ability of these women to redefine and dispute over the State’s control of justice, truth, reparation, and memory processes.

Keywords: afrodescendant women, continuum of violences, transitional justice, Colombia, mujeres afrodescendientes, continuum de violencias, justicia transitional

Topics: Armed Conflict, Ethnicity, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Justice, Reparations, Transitional Justice, Post-Conflict, Race, Peace Processes, Violence Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2018

Decolonial Sketches and Intercultural Approaches to Truth: Corporeal Experiences and Testimonies of Indigenous Women in Colombia


Santamaría, Angela, Dunen Muelas, Paula Caceres, Wendi Kuetguaje, and Julian Villegas. 2020. "Decolonial Sketches and Intercultural Approaches to Truth: Corporeal Experiences and Testimonies of Indigenous Women in Colombia." International Journal of Transitional Justice 14 (1): 56-79.

Authors: Angela Santamaría, Dunen Muelas, Paula Caceres, Wendi Kuetguaje, Julian Villegas


This article explores the corporeal and testimonial memories of a group of female indigenous ex-combatants and victims in the Colombian Caribbean and Amazon. Although these groups have often been analyzed in the transitional justice literature, our primary objective is to analyze two local processes for retrieving indigenous women’s memories and possible feminist participatory action research methodologies in the Colombian postconflict context. We examined empowering intercultural and intersectional methodologies to promote the political participation of indigenous women – both ‘victims’ and ‘perpetrators’ – in the Colombian Truth Commission implemented after the peace agreement was enacted. We explain how participatory action research should be used, including techniques such as indigenous women’s body mapping, creating testimonial spaces and conducting ethnographic observations. The article is based on a transitional justice ‘from below’ perspective as well as local transitional justice practices.

Keywords: indigenous peoples, women, ex-combatants, Colombia

Topics: Combatants, Female Combatants, Feminisms, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Justice, Transitional Justice, Intersectionality, Post-Conflict, Political Participation, Peace Processes Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2020

Las Farianas: Reintegration of Former Female FARC Fighters as a Driver for Peace in Colombia


Barrios Sabogal, Laura Camila, and Solveig Richter. 2019. Las Farianas: Reintegration of Former Female FARC Fighters as a Driver for Peace in Colombia. 78. Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá. 

Authors: Barrios Sabogal, Laura Camila, Solveig Richter


The 2016 peace agreement includes comprehensive prescriptions for the so-called "reincorporation" of former combatants into the social, economic, and political life of Colombia. However, the literature is somewhat skeptical regarding the reintegration of female fighters, since they are usually either neglected or are facing intense stigmatization by the society. Nevertheless, based on empirical data from field research in 2018, we argue that both former FARC ex-combatants and conflict-affected communities largely support the reintegration process. This acceptance offers not only prospects for peace but a unique opportunity to promote peace in the traditional Colombian society. 

El acuerdo de paz de 2016 incluye disposiciones integrales para la llamada "reincorporación" de excombatientes en la vida social, económica y política de Colombia. Sin embargo, la literatura es bastante escéptica con respecto a la reintegración de las excombatientes, pues generalmente son excluidas o enfrentan una fuerte estigmatización por parte de la sociedad. Ahora bien, con base en datos empíricos de la investigación de campo realizada en 2018, encontramos que tanto los excombatientes de las FARC como las comunidades afectadas por el conflicto apoyan en gran medida el proceso de reintegración. Esto ofrece no solo perspectivas de paz, sino también una oportunidad única para promover la igualdad de género en la sociedad tradicional colombiana.

Keywords: Colombia, FARC, DDR, reintegration, gender, former female FARC combatants, Acuerdo de paz, reintegración, gênero, mujeres excombatientes de las FARC, peace agreement

Topics: Combatants, Female Combatants, DDR, Gender, Women, Governance, Livelihoods, Post-Conflict, Peacebuilding, Political Participation, Peace Processes Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2018

Between Fatigue and Silence: The Challenges of Conducting Research on Sexual Violence in Conflict


Boesten, Jelke, and Marsha Henry. 2018. "Between Fatigue and Silence: The Challenges of Conducting Research on Sexual Violence in Conflict." Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State & Society 25 (4): 568-88.

Authors: Jelke Boesten, Marsha Henry


This paper discusses the meanings of research fatigue and silences in conflict-related sexual violence research. Drawing on field experiences in Liberia, Tanzania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Peru, we discuss some of the unintended consequences of persistent focus on victim-survivors’ narratives and argue for a reflexive feminist perspective that allows us to question the need and context of interviewing survivors and the associated insistence on disclosure.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Conflict, Feminisms, Sexual Violence Regions: Africa, East Africa, West Africa, Americas, South America, Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Liberia, Peru, Tanzania

Year: 2018


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